Building a Wood Duck 12 - Stem & stern pieces

Since the last time, the Duck has been tacked. That is, dabs of epoxy have been applied between the wires preparatory to filleting the seams. The tacks hold the pieces together and allow the wires to be removed. This keeps the fillets from having to be thick enough to cover the wires and saves epoxy, woodflour and weight. There is one more task before the Duck is ready for filleting and taping.

CLC specifies that the Duck be built with an endpour in the bow and extra-large fillets in the stern.While this has all sorts of advantages, especially for supporting first-time builders over the phone, I find that it uses way too much epoxy. It also adds needless weight. Finally, as described, the transom is not strong enough to attach heavy-duty threaded fittings.

The stem & stern pieces presented here are light, cheap, strong and in my opinion, easier to make than endpours. There's no fussing with dams, no worries about epoxy going exothermic & boiling over and you don't have to stand your boat on end with the risk of it falling over.

Click on any image below for a larger view

Piecing the stem piece

The bow has a pronounced curve. Trying to follow it with a single piece of wood would require a lot of fussy joinery work. Instead, I roughly shaped 4 pieces of wood to follow the general shape. Since the pieces would be bedded in epoxy/woodflour putty, the shaping could be very rough, indeed. These are the "finished" pieces. No one should be put off by the amount of woodworking involved.

Nor by the price. These are recycled bits of a tangerine crate - very strong, yet light.

Gluing the stem piece

Each piece is locked into place by the one above it. The final piece is held in place by the clamp. The piece of polyethylene keeps the clamp from becoming a permanent part of the boat.

Note the large triangular area at the bow. This is an ideal gluing surface for attaching the deck, another advantage of a stempiece over the endpour. Also visible are the tacks between the wires. Once the wires are removed, they'll hold the hull together while the fillets are applied. They're very flat to allow smooth fillets.

Stern piece bits

The big piece is carved from a spruce 2x4 scrap. The smaller pieces are carved from the tangerine crate scrap. The one at the top left is pieced from 3 separate pieces which are hot-glued. Again, the pieces can be left very rough. There's no reason for time-consuming, finicky work.

Clamping the stern piece

The stern piece gives an impression of massive solid strength. And it is. Yet, it's actually lighter than an equivalent end pour. Once the putty cured, the pieces were touched up with a chisel to remove sudden transitions and a final layer of putty was applied.

The stern is strong enough to allow the mounting of any rudder system, an eyebolt to attach tiedowns, tow lines, etc.

Page 1 - In the beginning
Page 2 - Hatching a Duck
Page 4 - Interior fillets & glass
Page 5 - Glassing under the deck
Page 6 - Installing footbrace mounting studs
Page 7 - Building the coaming, attaching the deck
Page 8 - Exterior glass
Page 9 - Graphite bottom, invisible hatch hold-downs
Page 10 - Final outfitting

Copyright © 2009 László I. Mórocz. All Rights Reserved.